Veggie prices skyrocket

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The poor start to the monsoon has already affected the price of vegetables, which, in the past one week has skyrocketed.

On Friday, beans were selling at Rs 90 per kg and red and yellow capsicum at over than Rs 160 per kg, the highest this season.

Experts say that unless there is better rainfall in the vegetable-growing areas of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in the coming days, the situation may improve.

Vegetable vendors at the KR market said on Friday that the supply was too little to meet the demand, and that was pushing up the prices.

“The rate of brinjal, which was around Rs 10-15 per kg the whole year, has reached its peak with the price touching Rs 45-50.

Beetroot is selling for Rs 55 to Rs 60 per kg and the price of cabbage has reached Rs 60 per kg. This is an indication of lack of supply,” said Ramesh Shenoy R., a vegetable vendor.

Only tomatoes at Rs 20 for one-and-a-half kg have remained affordable, he added.

While the delay in the arrival of the monsoon is being seen as the cause of the high prices, the role of middlemen, who are crucial in the marketing process, cannot be ruled out.

In fact, no one is sure of the reason for the price spiral, though Usman K, another retail vegetable vendor is certain that “generally prices will come down once the monsoon arrives.”

“Everyone is buying vegetables from either Yeshwantpur market or KR Market. But there is a huge gap between supply and demand. We are not getting enough vegetables.

Till May last week, the city was receiving vegetable from Kolar, Tumkur, Chikballapur and Hassan. But now we are depending only on supplies from Andhra and Tamil Nadu border. If the rain gods do not show mercy, prices will go up further,” he warned.

For small eateries and for the common citizen, the rising prices are very hard to digest. Ramprasad Adiga S. R., who owns a mess, said that this fluctuation will lead to havoc.

“Middle class and poor people are worst hit. The salaried class can’t bear the burden of rising prices,” he said.

‘Prices will come down in a few days’

B.V. Chikkanna

The summer-like weather is the main reason for fluctuations in vegetable prices. It is true that in the open market prices are soaring. But in HOPCOMS they have gone up by just 10 per cent.

Cold temperature and sufficient water are essential for healthy vegetable production. But, nfortunately, the state is witnessing dry weather. The temperature is also very high.

Even in June, the weather is like hot summer. This has led to drastic reduction in the production of vegetables.

On the other hand, due to marriages, house-warming ceremonies etc, there is huge demand for vegetables.

Because of all these factors, prices are soaring. At the same time we have enough supply to cater to the demands of customers.

At HOPCOMS, we don’t sell vegetables in small quantities. When it comes to small bundles, consumers lose heavily.

For example, my daughter who is residing at Vijayanagar paid Rs 50 for a bunch of coriander leaves. We are selling 1 kg of coriander leaves for Rs 100.

I think the price of vegetables will come down after June 19 because after June 19 there is no good muhurtam for marriages or house warming-ceremonies. So definitely the price will come down.

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